Sunday, 24 February 2013

February walks.

Brake Mill Pool....8th.

A sunny day on the 8th so I had a quick wander around at Brake Mill Pool. Goosander have been seen several times recently in varying numbers on the pool, also a couple of Little Grebe. Two  male Tufted Duck looked a delight in the sunshine, no females about though, no doubt  females will be in evidence soon.  Large numbers of Black-headed Gulls have congregated on the water and in surrounding fields, also Corvids and Woodpigeons in good numbers seen in the fields.
A sad sight was realising what the 3 Cygnets had been gathered together for, it was a piece of plastic! I am not sure whether they were playing with the plastic or trying to eat it! Fortunately they left it alone when a couple came along and stopped to talk to me, no doubt the Cygnets thought they had food for them. Nothing could be done to retrieve the piece/bag of plastic as it had seemingly sunk in the water, no doubt to resurface in the future time and time again! The Cygnets will be getting the old 'heave ho' from their parents as the breeding season nears so hopefully they will find water devoid of any plastics!











Brake Mill Pool....16th.
A foggy morning as the photo of the sheep will testify. Plenty of Gulls were on the water, Mallards kept a low profile and 9 Goosanders were seen at the far end of the pool. A Kestrel gave me the run around as it flew further and further along a telephone wire as we walked up the bridleway! At the end of the circular walk the sun appeared....oh well it was still an enjoyable walk albeit it being  foggy, cold and muddy!






Bunkers Hill Wood....14th.

Dodging the humongous puddles along this bridleway seems to be the norm this winter, however the rainbow was a pleasing sight and took my mind off the puddles!





Kestrel, Buzzard x2, Coal, Great & Blue Tit, Robin, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Mistle Thrush x2 and a delightful Treecreeper were seen on what is always a pleasant walk.


Mary Stevens Park....15th

A lovely sunny day had me visiting a local park for fresh air and exercise, well I walked the lake twice. :-) Goosander x 5, a pair of Tufted Duck , Canada Geese, Moorhen, Coot, Muscovy Duck and a large number of Black-headed Gulls on the water. They were all being well fed by the park visitors!

















Dowles Brook....17th

A long overdue visit to Dowles Brook on a relatively warm (ish) day was enjoyed though a sighting of Dipper, Hawfinch and L S Woodpecker would have been a real treat but not to be today! However Great and Blue Tit  were seen frequently on the walk, especially so Blue Tits! Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Treecreeper, Buzzard and Raven x2 were still a delight to see.




Whittington...Staffordshire/Stourbridge, West Midlands border....19th.

A sunny afternoon called for a walk and well worthwhile it was too! Walking by paddocks and arable land makes a nice change from woodlands. I  was more than pleased that I chose this walk . Skylarks were singing beautifully and visible at times, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Robin were feeding in the hedgerows, a Yellowhammer sang from the top of a tree, a 'pale form' Buzzard was heard and seen often but the undoubted highlights were the Little Owl that was perched in a tree and enjoying the sunshine and a Stonechat pair that were checking me out as I checked them out! Magic!! A day like today once a week would suit me fine!





Friday, 22 February 2013

Bourton-on-the -Water Model Village. 03/02/2013

After a good day and a half spent at the Slimbridge Reserve it was time to head for home on the Sunday which sadly arrived as a dull, cold and rainy day! A contrast to the previous two sunny albeit very cold days spent in Gloucestershire.
On the way home we called at  Bourton-on -the Water  to visit the Model Village. This was to be my second visit to the Model Village, the first being many moons ago when I was in Junior school and on a day trip that also included a visit to WWT Slimbridge. I remember feeling like a giant in this tiny village and likened it to  how Gulliver must have felt after he was shipwrecked and washed ashore on the island of Lilliput, the islanders were only 6" tall! The Model Village did to be honest now look a little jaded and in need of some restoration but as it is over 75 years old I doubt much can be done to improve it. Maybe a sunny day would have brought out the best in the Model Village














Bourton-on -the -Water 2013.















Wednesday, 20 February 2013

February catch up.


Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

WWT Slimbridge was visited from the 1st-3rd February and an enjoyable visit it was too! Highlight birds seen included Tundra Bean Goose (Lifer), Greylag, Barnacle, Canada, White-fronted and a lone Egyptian Goose.. ..a Goose fest! The Bewick's Swans were a delight to see and it was good to later in the day watch the Wild Bird Feed and listen to the wardens commentary from the comfort of the heated observatory. A  Dog decoy Demonstration made for an interesting hour, the warden was most informative. The Decoy was originally erected at Slimbridge to provide ducks for the table at nearby Berkeley Castle.....of course nowadays it is used for ringing purposes. Sadly there was not a Starling Roost at Slimbridge, I was told that it had been  3-4 years since the last Starling murmuration. I witnessed one in December 2009 which must have been the last one to happen here with good numbers of Starlings, such a sad decline of a noisy yet delightful bird!

  Tundra Bean Goose




Bewick's Swans arriving for their tea!

 
 
 


 
One of two Bank Voles energetically searching for food.


 
The dog is pretending to be a fox  as it runs in front of and behind the willow screens to lure the birds towards the Decoy net. Apparently the ducks will swim towards the fox as when the fox is visible to them they know where the danger is, clever ducks!
NB The dog is of course just doing what it has been trained to do and is not pretending as such to be a fox. ;-)
 
 
The long road to the Reserve at sunrise.
 
Gloucester - Sharpness Canal.